Keen encounter ends all square

Thursday, September 20, 2012, 17:15
 by Victor Ciangura courtesy of The Malta Independent
APS Bank Under 17 Section A
Paola H  1       Valletta   1 
A large crowd attended for this game which was played at the Luxol Ground St Andrew and both sets of players regaled the crowd present with a keen and fast game which was well-controlled by Referee Martin Borg. Following this game both teams are on 4 points from 2 games.
The Paolites created the first two actions. Dunstan Vella served Joseph Mbong in the area and a defender cleared the ball to a corner and Aaron Hili released Jurgen De Gabriele on the right flank, the ball was cleared to a corner which was taken by Clive Gauci, serving De Gabriele with a short pass and a defender cleared the ball to another corner.
In Valletta’s first action Mirco Vella was fouled on the right flank, Dario Zampa served Clint Zammit with a short pass and a defender cleared the ball away following his effort from outside the area.
Hibs then created three other actions. Gauci served De Gabriele with a short pass from a corner who after entering the area a defender cleared the ball to safety, the same player then served Mbong with a through ball who then square-passed to De Gabriele who drove over the bar from outside the area, and Damian Grima served De Gabriel in the area and Valletta keeper Ryan Caruana foiled him as he dived at his feet and smothered the ball.
In the 20th minute Paola opened the score. Mbong was fouled on the left edge of the area, Kurt Cutajar served De Gabriele with a short pass from the free kick who then crossed the ball in the area and in the melee that ensued Mbong managed to tap the ball in the net with his right thigh.
 In a reaction by Valletta they created two actions. Vella dribbled past an opponent and Hibs keeper Rudy Briffa saved his effort from outside the area and the same player then released Clint Zammit on the right flank and Briffa neutralised his cross-shot with a diving save.
Hibs then created the last action before the break when Gauci was fouled outside the area, Zack Scerri served Dunstan Vella with a short pass from the free kick who then served Cutajar with a through ball and a defender cleared the ball away from his shot.
Valletta created the first action after the restart. Zammit was fouled outside the area, the same palyer served Kurt Drakary with a short pass who after advancing a defender handled the ball outside the area and Vella drove over the bar from the free kick.
In the 49th minute Valletta equalised when Ian Montanaro was fouled just outside the area and Drakary scored with a hard grounder from the rsultant free kick. 
In another action by Hibs Hili was fouled on the left flank and after Cutajar floated a high ball in the area from the free kick Caruana managed to neutralise the ball in two attempts.
Valletta were then denied by the wood work when Vella released Jurgen Suda on the right flank and from his cross-shot the ball hit the bar and finished out of play.
In another action by Hibs De Gabriele served Mbong in the area and Caruana foiled him as he dived at his feet and neutralised the ball and at the other end, in the last action before the end, Drakary served Zammit in the area and Briffa foiled him with a timely sortie.
Referee: Martin Borg                                              Player of the match; Mirco Vella (Valletta)




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